februari 12, 2021 18 min lezen

Where to Paddle Board in Florida: The Complete Guide

Paddle boarding Florida offers a glorious environment for paddle boarding adventures. This SUP mecca has something suitable for every level of experience. 

There are so many views to take in from atop of a stand-up paddle board in Florida. 

Not to mention the activities that you can do while standing on your SUP.

Mounting up on a paddle board in Florida allows you to explore mangroves, remote waterways, and venture over stunning lakes. 

Cast a line for some fishing, workout your core through some yoga, or take the dog for a spin on the water — SUP activities and options are endless.

With year-round amazing weather and emerald-dazzling waters, it’s no wonder why Florida is so popular for paddle boarders and water enthusiasts. 

Stumble upon some of these sensational locations and get paddle boarding in Florida today!

Where Can You Paddle board In Florida?

Florida Ocean

Florida has a whole range of spots to explore by paddle board. Carving through the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, you can check out creeks, lakes, harbors, islands, national parks, open ocean waters, and tributaries.

If you’re asking, ‘where is the best paddle boarding near me in Florida?

Look no further. We’ve got the best of the best listed below separated into the following areas:

  • The Panhandle
  • West Coast
  • Central East Coast
  • East Coast and West Palm Beach County
  • The Florida Keys and Key West

The Panhandle

Florida Panhandle

The Florida Panhandle region is the Northwest coastline nestled between Alabama, Georgia, and the Gulf of Mexico. The Panhandle name comes from the 200-mile stretch of coastline which offers an incredible amount of paddle boarding. 

South Walton

Lakes, waterways, and access to the gulf. South Walton provides endless waters and incredible views to explore. Whatever your skill level, you’ll be able to find somewhere suitable to paddle.

South Walton promises some of the best views immersed in nature. 

White sands and turquoise water line the coast, luscious woodland surrounding calm and secluded lakes - this does feel like an escape to paradise.

For details on how to explore South Walton like a local, read more at Visit South Walton.

Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and other marine life while paddling into the sunset here. 

Coastal Dune Lakes

Located in South Walton County is one of the world’s most incredible natural phenomena that only occurs in a handful of other locations. 

This wonderfully unique ecosystem is over 10,000 years old. 

Despite only being a couple of hundred feet from The Gulf and saltwater, these lakes are fed by streams of freshwater.

The Coastal Dune Lakes is a group of 15 lakes dotted along the 26-mile county coastline. Western Lake is the largest of them all and a fantastic spot for SUP Yoga practice. 

Complete immersions into tranquility, surrounded by nature. We can’t think of anywhere better to find your balance and zen.

Miramar Beach

Miramar Beach Florida

Take in the panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico, complete with emerald waters and perfect sands.

Miramar Beach is perfect for beginners to take to the water and learn how to paddle board for the first time.

Don’t own gear yet? No problem. Head over to Sweet Escape Rentals to grab a board and hit the water. 

Holmes Creek, Washington County

Are you looking for an escape to nature? This is the spot for you. 34-miles of protected routes twisting, turning, and carving through Choctawhatchee River. 

As you enjoy a steady and leisurely paddle, take in the diverse plant and animal life around you. 

From Holmes Creek, you have access to Cypress Spring - a hidden jewel of Florida. The cool, crystal-clear water, filled with colorful tropical fish and sea turtles, is a refreshing welcome to your adventure. 

Head over to Cypress Spring Adventures for more information on tours and paddle board rentals.

Be aware of the various creek hazards while out on your board:

  • Shallow waters
  • Underwater tree trunks
  • Low-hanging branches

We recommend taking an inflatable paddle board into creeks. iSUPS are great and robust against these ‘bumpier’ conditions.

Pensacola Beach

Pensacola Beach Florida

Looking for a beach to set up camp with a canopy, a couple of deck chairs, and your SUP equipment? Pensacola Beach is a barrier island on the Western tip of Florida’s Panhandle region. 

Anglers flock here for the superb fishing opportunities. Why not cast your hand in a different direction and give SUP fishing a try?

You can hire stand up paddle board gear directly at Pensacola Beach from Pensacola and Navarre Beach Paddle Board Rentals

Destin Harbor

Paddle alongside Destin Harbor’s iconic boardwalk, amongst boats and yachts, and in beautifully tranquil waters. 

There are enormous amounts of intercostal canals and other waterways to explore by paddle board, all branching off Destin Harbor. 

This spot is very popular for tourists because it's great for fishing. Keep your eyes open for a wide range of marine life, including sea turtles and maybe the odd alligator!

Santa Rosa Beach

Santa Rosa

Yet another dream location. Santa Rosa Beach offers white sand and emerald waters along the 26-mile Panhandle shoreline.

The sheltered and calm waters here are perfect for a peaceful paddle. Whether you are a beginner learning the ropes or a more advanced paddler looking for a wind-down, this spot won’t fail to deliver. 

Some recommended routes paddle through Hogtown Bayou or Choctawhatchee Bay for something really special.

Grayton Beach State Park

A State Park is always a winner in our eyes for escaping to nature. Grayton Beach State Park is no exception. This is a hotspot for paddle boarders and wilderness lovers.

Located between Destin and Panama City, this is a spot to add to your list. 

More stunning emerald waters and soft white sand can be found here at Grayton Beach. 

Why not make a weekend of it, take your camping gear along with you, and check out some hiking trails at the same time. Head over to the official Florida State Park page for more information.

Dogs are also welcome here — We can’t think of a better place to paddle board with your dog.

St. Andrews State Park

Another State Park, but St. Andrews is more remote and secluded than Grayton Beach. This is a wonderful escape from the hustle and bustle of Panama City. 

Great for fishing, wildlife viewing, and sunset watching. Enjoy a paddle to Shell Island, and explore these unspoiled landscapes.

We only recommend that intermediates and more advanced riders take to these waters due to the remoteness of the State Park.

West Coast

Follow The Gulf round to the West Coast for more stunning locations to take out a paddle board for an unforgettable ride.

Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay is a natural harbor off of the Gulf of Mexico. These calm and still waters are perfect for people wanting to learn how to paddle board.

If you need a lesson or SUP hire, head over to Tampa Bay SUP for competitive prices and top-quality equipment.

St. Petersburg

Just the other side of Tampa Bay is St. Petersburg. 

This is a unique location to paddle, with the Bay on one side and The Gulf on the other. St. Petersburg is very popular for water enthusiasts and is the favored spot for the Clearwater area. 

The perfect weather conditions allow for year-round paddling. 

Check out Urban Kai for these nature paddle board tours exploring the mangroves or downtown areas.

Ted Sperling Nature Park

The waterways of Ted Sperling Nature Park are home to incredible wildlife. 

Explore these calm, beginner-friendly waters to discover mangroves, osprey and cormorants, and West Indian manatees.  

Hit the water by yourself, or join one of the many eco-tours to explore the area in a group.

Venice Beach, Sarasota

Known as “Shark Tooth Capital of the World”. It’s not how it seems. 

Venice Beach has 14-miles of white sandy picturesque beaches that often have fossilized shark teeth shattered along the beach. 

This spot is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and paddle boarding. If you don’t own equipment yet, head up to Venice Jetty to rent a board and hit the water straight from the beach.

Naples Beach

Naples Beach Florida

Keep heading down the coast for another Gulf-side paradise location boasting calm, emerald waters. Naples Beach is idyllic.

If you are after a quiet escape from the crowds, then this is the place for you. Paddle at ease on a tranquil ocean with dolphins and sea turtles for company.

Suwannee River

One of Florida’s oldest natural attractions, the Suwannee River flows from Georgia and carves its prehistoric waters southward to the coast.

This wild blackwater river is 246 miles long offering crystal clear swimming holes, sandy rest spots, and fantastic riverside campgrounds.

Central East Coast

Jump over to the other coast of Florida for the quintessential beaches on the Atlantic. Vibrant turquoise waters, waves, and more. 


paddle boarding in orlando best places

Not quite on the coast, but still worth a mention is Orlando. 

Orlando Paddle Boarding offers an experience that is quite different. There are three main spots you should hit while you are there:

  • Wekiva Island - protected space for wildlife giving an almost-Jurassic-Park-feel with turtles, birds, and fish to be discovered. A jungle river, filled with great spots for swimming and free diving. Be aware of busy seasons as there is a capacity of visitors allowed on the island so arrive early to avoid any disappointment.
  • Dinky Dock Park  - make the most of the free parking and good amenities. This is a  collection of five lakes connected by old logging canals. The luscious fern canopies offer shade on the hottest of days and the sandy beach are good launching sites for beginners to set off.
  • Lake Killarney - an immense 400-acre spring-fed lake. There are restaurants and rental stores available. Paddle Board Orlando comes highly recommended with every rental including a quick land lesson and briefing. This rental store also offers an incredible 5-day Yampa River Tour covering 72-miles and wild camping - definitely not for the faint-hearted.

Daytona Beach

Daytona Beach

Most famous for its racing history, but still an epic spot to hit the ocean for paddle boarding. Daytona Beach should not be missed.

Join Three Brothers for one of their awesome Dolphin & Manatee Paddle Board Tours, voted the #1 thing to do in Daytona Beach.This is suitable for all levels of experience and will give you memories to last a lifetime.

New Smyrna Beach

Fancy a try at SUP surfing? Hit the waves at New Smyrna Beach on a mellow day and get a feel for the adrenaline rush. 

The estuary is also one of the most diverse ecological sites giving a home to several species of fish, birds, dolphins, manatees, turtles, and more. So keep your eyes peeled to catch a glimpse of some epic marine life. 

Cape Canaveral

Cape Canaveral is found on Florida’s Space Coast offering some of the most beautiful undeveloped beaches and coves along the coast.

The Indian River Lagoon and Banana River are both beginner-friendly paddle board locations worth mentioning in Cape Canaveral.

Read more about this incredible spot on the Visit Space Coast site.

Cocoa Beach

Most famous for its incredible waves, Cocoa Beach is on the map for its surfing and ocean location. Kelly Slater, the eleven-time world champion surfer, grew up surfing these waves. 

So why not take to the ocean and give SUP surfing a try? The beautiful landscapes and waterways are breathtaking giving you plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife and marine life.

St. Augustine

St. Augustine is the oldest city in Florida and provides a stunning backdrop to paddle board against. Remember to pack your action camera with your paddle boarding accessories to capture these beautiful locations’ sights.

Paddle past the Castillo de San Marcos, and watch the cannon firing from the water for something truly memorable.

From here you have access to both Matanzas River and Faver-Dykes State Park for more excellent paddle boarding.


Jacksonville SUP

One of Florida’s most vibrant cities, Jacksonville offers an interesting variety of lakes, coves, parks, and tributaries to explore by paddle board. A few key spots worth mentioning are:

  • Castaway Island Preserve
  • Guana River State Park
  • Hanna Park
  • Jacksonville Beach

If you need to grab a stand-up paddle boarding lesson, then head over to Jax Surf & Paddle located just two blocks from the beach.

Amelia Island

If the city is too busy for you, then take a short trip up to Amelia Island. This hidden gem rarely gets crowded and offers spectacular paddle boarding opportunities.

Jump onboard a nature tour from Amelia Island Nature Center to discover everything this spot has to offer.

East Coast and West Palm Beach County

Florida’s East Coast just keeps on giving. West Palm Beach County is truly spectacular and offers some ultimate locations to paddle board.

Miami Beach

Miami Beach

Miami Beach is at the heart of “Sunny Florida”. This city lays right on to the sand next to the rolling waves of the North Atlantic.

Do your sightseeing from the water as the Miami skyline shimmers out in front of you. 

Paddle round to Biscayne Bay to see the glorious Vizcaya Museum right from your board.

If you are looking for something extra special, check out the neon glow tours from  Miami Beach Paddle boards.

Vero Beach

A peaceful destination to get paddle boarding, Vero Beach is a well-treasured vacation spot for water lovers, fishing enthusiasts, and golfers. 

You will be able to find something for everyone here, explore open waters, river lagoons, or a series of mangrove trails. 

Head over to Paddles by the Sea for excellent group tours, SUP yoga classes, equipment rental, and paddle board lessons. 

Lake Worth Lagoon

Lake Worth Lagoon

Lake Worth Lagoon is Palm Beach County’s largest estuary spanning around 20-miles with two ocean inlets mixing with a freshwater flow.

When paddle boarding Lake Worth Lagoon, you need to be aware of the local wildlife and tidal currents. We don’t recommend for beginners to head out by themselves without any direction or supervision.


Jupiter truly is a wonderful seaside town and another fantastic place to paddle board in Florida. 

The waterways flow naturally through the town bringing tides of crystal clear Atlantic waters. 

Launch your paddle board from close to Jupiter Lighthouse and choose between the coast to the north or the Loxahatchee River to the west. 

For more advanced paddling, head over to Jonathan Dickinson State Park. 

Need a rental store? Check out Hui Hui Rentals for great half-day or full-day rates.

Loxahatchee River

Loxahatchee River is an untouched natural beauty of the state. This scenic and wild river is accessible from Riverbend Park in Jupiter.

Explore stunning scenery from SUP or kayak in Loxahatchee River for a relaxing day of paddling and take in the wildlife and fauna of the area. 

Blowing Rocks Preserve

From Jupiter, you can access Blowing Rocks Preserve, one of America’s largest native coastal habitat restoration projects. The marine life you can spot from your SUP here is incredible. Discover an underwater world of tropical fish, giant sea turtles, sharks, and more.

Make sure you pack a dry bag with your camera or phone to snap some incredible photos along the way.

Ten Thousand Islands

Ten Thousand Island

Discover a whole new world of a mangrove islet chain. Not quite 10,000 but still around 200-islands to explore by paddle board. 

Ten Thousand Islands is a true getaway and escape from the crowds. Look out for native osprey, set up a rod for a spot of fishing, enjoy a downward dog from your board, or simply tour around the islands. 

A highly recommended route is the Sandfly Loop. This is 2.5hrs from the visitor center and shows you historical homes found right on the waterline. 

If you want to enjoy a full weekend away, head over to these great campground options, Tiger Key or Picnic Key.

Everglades National Park

Right at the southern tip of Ten Thousand Islands is another ecological wonderland. Everglades National Park is separate due to its unique ecosystem housing over 30,000 threatened species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and fish. 

This is the largest tropical wilderness in America and a paddle board dream location.

Bear in mind, paddling the Everglades requires some planning. 

While there are loads of campsites dotted around the National Park, you do have to be completely self-sufficient as there is no cell service and no supply stores. If wild camping is your thing, then this is the perfect place in Florida for you.

The Florida Keys and Key West

Florida Keys

Finally, we have The Florida Keys. Key West is one of America’s most loved vacation destinations, and it’s no secret as to why. These tropical waters are beaming with marine life and vibrant corals. 

There are so many incredible places to visit and paddle-board in Key West Florida. We’ve picked out a selection of the best to mention including Bahia Honda State Park and the famous Seven Mile Bridge.

Read More:12 Amazing Places to Paddle Board in Key West, Florida

Bahia Honda State Park

Part of Big Pine Key, Bahia Honda State Park is a premier location for paddle boarding. The crystal clear waters and easy currents allow for calm and peaceful adventures. 

Spend hours exploring mangroves, shorelines, and sandy beaches. See how many varieties of birds and fish you can spot, and enjoy the company of dolphins and manatees. 

Bahia Honda State Park is one of the best places in Florida. These remote and calm waters are best explored at sunset for the most epic views you can imagine. 

Dry Tortugas National Park

dry tortugas national park best places to paddle board

Even though Dry Tortugas National Park is one of the lesser-known state parks in the US, it is still one of the best places to hit the water with a SUP.

Dry Tortugas is a cluster of seven, tiny remote islands 70-miles west of Key West. You can access this spot via public ferry, or private boat, taking around 2hr 15mins. iSUPs (inflatable paddle boards) are ideal for this kind of travel as they don’t take you over the luggage allowance for the boat. 

Check out the National Parks official website to help plan your visit. To make the most out of the visit, why not pitch up at one of the eleven campsites in the park.

Here you will discover thriving coral reefs, vibrant marine life, and vast open waters. There are several routes to paddle depending on your skill level.

Seven Mile Bridge

A spot strictly for the more adventurous and advanced paddle boarder. Florida’s Seven Mile Bridge is famous for its starring location shots in Mission Impossible III, 2 Fast 2 Furious, and License to Kill.

Make sure you plan your route carefully, and take into consideration the tide times and weather conditions. The open ocean here can be tricky to negotiate, so beginners must take in this location from the road only. 



Yet another incredible place for booming coral reefs and tropical marine life. Islamorada is one of the best places to stand up paddle board and discover an incredible underwater realm.

Dolphins, rays, sharks, tropical fish, and more. This spot will not disappoint.

While you are here, visit Indian Key Historic Park, Snake Creek, and Windley Harbor. All of these places are also ideal launch sites for paddle boards.  

Stock Island

Stock Island is the largest deepwater marina in The Keys, perfect for docking up a boat or simply paddle boarding beautiful scenes.

Explore picturesque mangrove forests and discover the unique underwater ecosystems of crabs, tropical fish, and sea stars. 

Take a snorkel and mask and dive into the waters of these natural wonders of Florida.

Springs To Explore And Paddle board In Florida

Take a step away from the coast and discover some of the most magical places to paddle board in Florida - The Springs. The backcountry of Florida is just as good as the coastline with some incredible wildlife to be paddling right alongside, such as manatees and other unique creatures.

So, if you are looking for a break from the beach, check out some of these places for more epic paddle boarding adventures.

Wekiva River 

A wild and scenic river just a short drive out of Orlando. Wekiva River circles a small inland island, giving you prehistoric rich green vegetation and wildlife to spot. Keep your eyes out for turtles, alligators, raccoons, otters, and wild boar for company!

Want to join a tour group? Head over to Paddleboard Orlando, and jump on one of their awesome tours through these crystal clear waters and discover a whole new world.

Wekiwa Springs 

Keep exploring deeper into the Wekiwa Springs State Park to discover the spring that feeds the Wekiva River. 

Remember to pack your snorkeling gear in your dry bag to take in the beauty of the underwater limestone formations.

The water temperature is a consistent 72 degrees Fahrenheit all year round making this a refreshing water hole for the hottest of days.

Rock Springs And The Florida Jungle 

If you are looking for something even wilder and slightly longer to paddle, then check out Rock Springs and The Florida Jungle. 

This spot does take more planning due to the longer routes and wilder terrain.

The emerald waters in the middle of a jungle will not disappoint. Rock Springs will be one of the most mesmerizing places you will ever paddle.

Blue Spring State Park

Staying on the East Coast, take a short drive from Daytona, and stumble upon Blue Spring State Park. 

This is one of the prettiest places in Florida and homes hundreds of manatees in the winter months.

It is important to remember that manatees are naturally inquisitive and will come up close to you on a SUP. Be respectful of them, and enjoy watching them in their natural habitat. 

This is by far one of the best places to stand up paddle board in Florida. 

De Leon Springs State Park 

Another fantastic State Park for a family day-out, De Leon Springs is a firm favorite for the area. Join one of the many eco-tour groups or take your SUP out for a solo spin.

Weeki Wachee Springs 

Head further South and explore Weeki Wachee Springs at your own pace. This is another hangout for manatees and even mermaids. 

Yes, you heard right! Soak up the wonderfully vintage-Florida with a live underwater mermaid show - a great display of scuba technology and imagination.

Just bear in mind that Weeki Wachee Springs is far more commercialized than other State Parks and Springs, but still nonetheless beautiful.

Crystal Springs And Crystal River

Florida’s Crystal Springs and River are some of the most popular waters for in-water manatee experiences. Here you can join one of many licensed tour groups that will give you a memory to last a lifetime.

We recommend you try to get in the water earlier in the day to get the best water clarity before boats come out in force.  

Three Sister Springs Refuge

Again, Three Sister Springs Refuge is a phenomenal spot to swim and paddle alongside manatees in the winter months. However, be sure to check this place out in the summer for some of the most spectacular views found on Earth. 

The emerald colors and vibrant landscapes are truly mind-blowing, so be sure to pack your camera.  

Silver Springs State Park

Head to more Central Florida for some more epic paddle boarding experiences. Silver Springs State Park is America’s largest spring home to a whole variety of wildlife.

Exploring this State Park by SUP is truly magical. Remember to grab some photos of your adventure to really ‘up’ your Instagram game.

Rainbow Springs State Park 

It’s no wonder why this State Park is called Rainbow Springs. 

The colors found here are mesmerizing and beautiful. This is a fantastic place to have a weekend getaway. 

Be sure to check out one of the many great campsites in the area to pitch up a base camp for your paddle boarding escape.

Fanning Springs 

Now let’s head up to North Florida towards Suwannee River which is fed by Fanning Springs. This unbelievable swimming hole is massive and incredibly deep. Not only is this a highly recommended SUP spot, but also an incredible inland scuba diving location.

Again, manatees come here for the winter months making it a truly special spot to explore by paddle board.

Guide For Beginners In Paddle boarding In Florida

Beginners Paddle Boarding

It is no secret that Florida is an epic place to start paddle boarding. If you are a beginner, make sure you do your homework, and prepare for your learning experience. Here are a few tips to help you hit the water and get paddling:

  • Plan your trip
  • Start slow and build-up
  • Recognize and avoid hazards
  • Know your limits
  • Keep safe
  • Stay hydrated 

Plan your trip

Make sure you know where you are going and everything you need to be aware of.

We always advise you to get a grip of the basics before getting in the water. There are some great videos online that explain learning how to paddle board. If you end up renting your equipment, most rental offers include a quick briefing on how to use the paddle correctly and the stance you need. 

Read more - How to Paddle Board: The Beginner’s Guide to SUP Basics

Start Slow And Build It Up 

Always begin on flat water.

The best way to get to grips with paddle boarding is to start on your knees. Once you are comfortable with the board and buoyancy, then you slowly rise to your feet, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart.

It takes time to find your balance, and sometimes other people find it more difficult than some. Don’t get downhearted if you fall in. We’ve all been there, and it’s part of the learning experience.

Recognize And Avoid Hazards

One of the most common hazards for beginner paddle boarders is the wind. Wind creates choppy waters and makes balancing difficult. 

Beginners should try to go out when the waters are calm, flat, and gentle.

If you are heading out into the ocean, make sure you check the tide times, and be aware of currents. 

When exploring mangroves, rivers, and springs, remember tree roots and rocks can be close to the surface, along with low branches overhead.

Know Your Limits

It’s important to go with the flow and relax into paddle boarding. 

It is also crucial that you know your capabilities and skill level limits. For beginners, we recommend you only take on an hour at a time, allowing time for refreshments and rest.

Paddle boarding is an all-body workout that you will feel in your legs, core, and arms. Most rental stores do 1-hr rental to accommodate beginner paddlers. 

Keep Safe 

Safety should be everyone’s number one priority. Use a PFD (read more on the Best Life Jackets for Paddle boarding), a SUP coiled leash, and sun protection. It’s easy to forget that you are being exposed to strong UV rays when out on the water. 

Stay Hydrated

Paddle boarding is harder than it looks and can be quite an intense cardio workout. Don’t get caught out by dehydration. 

Most SUPs have bungee cords on the nose to secure down a bag or a water bottle.

Interactive Map of Paddle Boarding in Florida

Wrapping Up Best Places to Paddle Board Florida

best place to paddle board in florida

Paddle boarding in Florida truly is a dream. Take to the emerald and turquoise waters, discover tropical worlds, and soak up the never-ending sun. 

Choose between energetic beaches, remote networks of islands, undiscovered mangroves, or calm lagoons and lakes. 

Florida has some of the best State Parks that are perfect for paddle boarding. Bahia Honda State Park, Grayton Beach, and Everglades National Park are considered some of the best places in America for their natural beauty and wonder. 

So what are you waiting for? Plan your Florida paddle boarding adventure today and let us know where you will be ticking off the list first!

Jay Regan
Jay Regan

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